Thursday 14 December 2017

EU to crack down on illegal sale of cultural heritage

The European Commission said it wants to extend and toughen the bans on the import of cultural goods from war-torn third countries
The European Commission said it wants to extend and toughen the bans on the import of cultural goods from war-torn third countries

The European Union plans to tighten rules and enforcement on the illegal import of art heritage objects which are now often used to finance extremist groups.

The European Commission said on Thursday it wants to extend and toughen the bans on the import of cultural goods from war-torn third countries which lack a strong central government able to exert control over its heritage objects.

At the moment, legislation among the 28 member nations is not streamlined and often ineffective against criminal gangs and extremist groups seeking to make many millions from stolen objects in places like Syria or Iraq.

"By preventing them from entering the EU, we can help dry up this source of income," said Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans.

Press Association

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